Julius Rudel (6 March 1921 – 26 June 2014) was an Austrian-born American opera and orchestra conductor. He was born in Vienna and was a student at the city's Academy of Music. He emigrated to the United States at the age of 17 in 1938 after the country was annexed by Germany.

He studied conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. After completing his music studies, he joined the New York City Opera. He died on 26 June 2014 at the age of 93.

External audio
audio icon You may hear Julius Rudel with Jorge Bolet and the Lewisohn Stadium Symphony Orchestra of New York in:
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
Mozart's Symphony No. 35 in D major K. 385 ("The Hoffner")
Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in 1957
Here on wnyc.org

Professional career


New York City Opera

After 1944, he began a 35-year career with that company which continued until 1979. After rising to Principal Conductor and General Director in 1957, he brought the company international acclaim with his innovative programming (including three seasons of all-American operas in 1958, 1959, and 1960), and formed a partnership with Beverly Sills, who became the leading soprano of the NYCO. He led the company to its new home at the New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, where it opened in February 1966 with Alberto Ginastera's Don Rodrigo, in which he cast an unknown 25-year-old tenor, Plácido Domingo.[1]

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

In 1979, he accepted the position of Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, succeeding Michael Tilson Thomas, and led that orchestra through the 1985 season.

Other positions

Rudel conducted major orchestras and operas throughout the world. Between 1958 and 1963 he conducted frequently for the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, also serving as the company's Artistic Director for part of that time. In 1978, he first conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, making his debut with Werther. He also won a Grammy Award.

He was the first Music Director of both Washington's Kennedy Center and the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and from 1962 to 1976 he was Music Director of the Caramoor Festival.

He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.[2]

In 2009 he was honored by the US National Endowment for the Arts for his many contributions to opera. He died in Manhattan on 26 June 2014.[3]



See also





  1. ^ Schonberg, Harold C. (23 February 1966). "City Opera Company Sparkles in its Rich New Setting" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  2. ^ Delta Omicron Archived 27 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ McFadden, Robert (26 June 2014). "Julius Rudel, Longtime City Opera Impresario Dies at 93". New York Times.


  • Morgan, Brian (2006), Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle iUniverse, 2006. ISBN 0-595-38898-1
  • Rudel, Julius; Rebecca Paller (2013), First and Lasting Impressions: Julius Rudel Looks Back on a Life in Music. University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1-58046-434-5
Cultural offices
Preceded by Music Director, Caramoor Festival
Succeeded by
Preceded by Music Director, Buffalo Philharmonic
Succeeded by